Contxto – When it comes to supporting entrepreneurship, Uruguay is on top of its game. Not only is the country using blockchain technology in politics and the cannabis industry, but also establishing a new consulate in San Francisco, specifically to assist Uruguayan startups and students in Silicon Valley.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a new diplomatic mission to support Uruguayans in Silicon Valley. Ultimately, the office intends to function as a conduit between Uruguay and the U.S. tech hub.
“Today, Silicon Valley is the technological engine of the world,” said Ignacio González, the new officer at the Uruguayan Consulate in San Francisco. “If we consider that 6 percent of Uruguay’s software exports go to the United States, we should be here. It is the most iconic place in the matter.”
With this upcoming office, the South American country will aid Uruguayan techies working in the Bay Area. This includes nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, as well as Sonoma.
Interestingly enough, this is the first time Uruguay has made a diplomatic mission in San Francisco since 1985. In addition to this new office are pre-existing operations in New York, Miamai, Chicago, plus Los Angeles.
At the end of the day, this initiative intends to provide softlanding support to Uruguayan entrepreneurs and tech startups. Simply arriving in Silicon Valley does not guarantee success, according to González.
“Many times, people think that by just taking the plane and arriving to Silicon that they have made it, but that is not the case,” he said.
“From this experience, we want to prepare a softlanding for Uruguayan entrepreneurs and pave the way for cultural change, such as what to say in a presentation with investors or how to dress for meetings.”
Keeping this in mind, one of the first objectives is to locate every Uruguayan working in the region. The government office realizes that networking and professional contacts are essential for startup survival. With a clear consensus, startups and entrepreneurs will be more able to collaborate with one another.
Another part of this permanent diplomatic mission is to offer educational opportunities. In other words, authorities aspire to promote the exchange of teachers and students between universities and Uruguayan institutes.
Within California, some of these schools include Stanford, Berkely, Draper, Santa Cruz, among others. Over time, the goal is to demonstrate to the world what Uruguay has to offer in terms of tech. This is particularly true regarding software development.
“One of our objectives is that they associate Uruguay with technology and that they know that it is a serious, stable and reliable country that does things well,“ said González.
“We are the country that exports the most per capita software in South America and we have great potential in this area.”
Recently, Uruguayan startup MaddenCo received the honor as the nation’s leading software developer from GeneXus, a software development platform. MaddenCo is responsible for developing and integrating software systems for tire dealers and truck stop service centers.
“It is an honor for MaddenCo to be recognized as a software innovator, especially when so many companies across diverse industries were considered for this award,” said CEO of MaddenCo, Kim Poynter.
“GeneXus has been a valued partner in our transition to our new web-based software platform. We expect our new software to serve the tire industry well for a long time.”